Chai Lifeline Lakewood 10th Anniversary Dinner Tonight at Bais Faiga


chai-lifeline-1-smallHundreds will join the rabbonim and roshei yeshiva of the Lakewood kehillah this evening as tribute is paid to the crucial mosad of Chai Lifeline Lakewood at Bais Faiga Hall. The guest speaker will be Rav Moshe Yaakov Kanner , noted author and lecturer from Toronto, Ontario. Additionally, Rabbi Chaim Zalman Herzka will deliver special remarks from a parent’s perspective.

Chai Lifeline Lakewood: A World of Chesed

When Meir Goldstein* was diagnosed with cancer, r”l, and rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, his parents were overwhelmed, anxious and uncertain. They found the chizuk and assistance they needed when a hospital social worker suggested they call Chai Lifeline Lakewood.

Rabbi Sruly Fried MSW, Director of Chai Lifeline Lakewood, visited the family in the hospital that very day and introduced them to Chai Lifeline’s vast support network, making that first bleak day a little bit warmer.

“When I met the Goldsteins, they were still in shock from the diagnosis and were suddenly faced with the frightening prospect of immediate surgery and months upon months of complicated treatment and uncertainty,” he explained.

That first day, the Goldsteins, like many families we meet in the hospital, just needed to know that we were there. I arranged meals for the family so that they would have the strength they needed to care for Meir and reassure their other children, and I made sure they knew that I was available whenever they needed me for whatever assistance I could offer.”



Chai Lifeline case managers are a welcome and familiar sight in hospitals across the state and across the country, and when they meet families, their first question is, “What can we do to make today easier?”

“We approach oncology patients and children or teens with chronic conditions differently,” explains Rabbi Fried. “Both groups need immense amounts of help, but oncology patients often receive their life-changing diagnosis overnight, while those diagnosed with chronic, lifelong conditions may have more time to come to terms with an emerging diagnosis.  

For both groups of patients, the goal is to get to know each family and identify their needs before the family members themselves know what they need. “The cumulative experience and the individual expertise of our case managers translate into chizuk and guidance for our families.”



When families become part of Chai Lifeline’s extended family, they gain access to more than two-dozen, year-round programs and services that help the ill child, each member of his or her family and entire communities cope with serious illness and its ramifications.

“Chai Lifeline revolutionized the process of obtaining care and support,” explains Rabbi Mordechai Gobioff, National Director of Client Services. “Before Chai Lifeline, families had to go to one place for meals, a second for transportation, and a third for ‘big brothers’ and ‘big sisters.’ Now, not only is there a single mosad that offers all this help under one roof, but every family has a case manager dedicated to assuring that they have everything they need to move forward.”

Chai Lifeline offers daily living and hospital support, including professional case management, the delivery of haimeshe meals to homes and hospital rooms, transportation to and from the hospital and doctors’ appointments, financial assistance, insurance support, hospital visitors and overnight hospital respite that make hospital stays and medical treatment less stressful for Chai Lifeline children and their families.

Emotional support, ranging from an array of restorative family retreats and individual and family counseling to ChaiNet online support groups, ChaiLine telephone support groups, and the Healing Hearts Bereavement Program, bring vital chizuk and friendship to families. Recreational outings for the whole family, Chanukah and Purim chagigos that inject simcha into the families and Bernice Rimberg “Our Sibs” retreats and outings for the siblings of ill children remind the families that laughter and smiles are not precluded by illness, concludes Rabbi Gobioff.

When treatment takes a child or teen out of the shiur room or classroom, Chai Lifeline offers an array of tutoring programs that helps keep the student on track. H.E.LP. (Homebound Educational Learning Program) provides limudei kodesh tutoring. ChaiLink video classroom hookups connect patients with their classrooms from wherever their treatment takes them, and laptop loans enable patients to stay in touch with their classmates and complete school assignments.

In fact, for many families, the name “Chai Lifeline” is a direct translation of “personal service.”

When Simcha Levy* needed a stem cell transplant, his family moved to Duke University in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for several months. “The food packages Chai Lifeline sent made our lives more bearable,” explained his mother. “They knew the snacks our children liked. The cheeses were cholov Yisroel. The bread was pas Yisroel. We were so grateful every time a package arrived.”

“When a child or young parent is ill, r”l, everyone is affected,” comments Rabbi Simcha Scholar, Executive Vice President of Chai Lifeline. “Chai Lifeline’s community services offer our mosdos and shuls, education, information and a process to help families cope with illness and its aftermath.”

Chai Lifeline does all of this very quietly, without fanfare, but with amazing love and concern for each family. Because of Chai Lifeline, young families faced with serious illness win major victories over despair and pain.

“To be able to stand ready to assist any family in our community, we now turn to you for help,” adds Rabbi Arye Adest. “The most crucial component of Chai Lifeline’s Lakewood budget – its ability to expand programming to meet our community’s ever-growing demand for services – will be determined by the success of our annual reception.”

500 volunteers, tireless staff members, rabbonim and roshei yeshiva of the kehillah will be joined by local residents in paying tribute to this vital mosad tonight at Bais Faiga Hall.

For more information or to make a contribution, call Rbbi Arye Adest at 732.719.1717.

* Names have been changed

 {ELisha Newscenter}